Happy Birthday

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For many people today, it is a day to celebrate all things Irish, drink beer, eat corned beef, and wear green.  For our household, however, March 17th means something completely different.

As many of you know, back in July we discovered that Sarah was pregnant.  At first, there was shock, then fear, then much joy.  A few weeks later, we were in the presence of many of our family members and broke the news to them (my dad found out he was gonna be a grandpa on his 50th birthday!)  Then, just shortly after that, we discovered that the baby was gone.

Today was the official due date of our first child.

All sorts of questions come up when pain enters a person’s life.  Especially for those of us who trust in Christ, painful situations hardly ever make sense.  The seemingly universal question, “why do bad things happen to good people?” seems to forever haunt those who experience trials.   Sometimes I wonder if it was something I did, and now am being “punished” for it, but I know that’s more or less irrational thought, and it’s hardly a biblical one.

The best that I can tell is that God gives us trials to bring us to call on His name.  C.S. Lewis puts it this way, “Because we are rebels against God who must lay down our arms, our other pains may indeed constitute God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world to surrender.”  Of course, included in the definition of “deaf world” I think should be Christians.  It’s easy to assume that once we follow Christ, we are no longer deaf to him, but that is so far from the truth in too many cases.

However, God also chooses to put people through trials that are not deaf to Him.  Job, of course, is a perfect example.  He was known as being “upright and blameless” in the sight of God.  That’s a pretty good resume.  Still, God stripped him of every earthly thing he had and his response? 
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

May my response always be to praise the name of the Lord no matter what comes my way.

In closing, I would just like to say that maybe somewhere in heaven there is a child who is being loved by his grandmother and a grandmother who is being loved by her first grandchild.  A good friend (who is almost certainly reading this) has sadly lost a few children, perhaps they have met our child too?  Oh to know the mysteries of heaven!  I cannot wait to experience the joy of life with no more pain, suffering, crying or shame (Rev. 21:4) and perhaps meet the child I never knew.

There is a birthday I would like to celebrate today.  On the continent of Africa there is a now 4 year old girl named Sau Assan.  For a while Sarah and I have talked about sponsoring a child, and we picked Sau since she was born on March 17th (and her favorite subject is music, how cool is that?)  I would like to encourage you to consider child sponsorship if you haven’t done so before.  We sponsor through www.worldvision.org but certainly www.compassion.com is also a great place to help a child as well.

If you’re still with me, after this lengthy post, here’s a song to listen to for anyone who has ever lost a child too soon.

Hello, Goodbye – Michael W. Sm…